MONTPELIER (AP) >> Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith, who dropped out of the race for governor last year because his wife was being treated for breast cancer, is now making a bid for lieutenant governor.

Vermont Public Radio reports Smith says his wife's improving health, coupled with his desire to remain in public service, compelled him to run. He was expected to announce his candidacy for lieutenant governor later Wednesday.

Smith joins Kesha Ram, a four-term House Representative from Burlington, and David Zuckerman, a veteran legislator from Chittenden County, in the Democratic primary. Zuckerman also is a member of the Progressive Party.

Former Franklin County senator Randy Brock is the lone Republican in the race for lieutenant governor.